Turkistan, formerly known as Turkestan, is a city in the southern region of Kazakhstan, near the Syr Darya river. It has a population of 85,600 and is situated 160 km (99 mi) north-west of Shymkent on the Trans-Aral Railway between Kyzylorda to the north and Tashkent to the south.
Turkistan is one of Kazakhstan's historic cities with an archaeological record dating back to the 4th century. (For a brief description click here).During the Han dynasty it may even have been Beitan, the summer capital of ancient Kangju ,which is mentioned in the Hanshu.The city attracts thousands of pilgrims. According to a regional tradition, three pilgrimages to Turkistan are equivalent to one hajj to Mecca (such local piety is known also in relation to other religious monuments in the Muslim World).